Bored on the train, Matt gave in to my “let’s play with pens and paper” urges and agreed to write with me.  We passed a blank sheet of journal back and forth, writing one word at a time.  During the entire process we didn’t say a word to each other.  This is what we came up with:




Here is what is says:

“Once you have admittance into the great aristocratic oligarchy, that reels back and you have no other avenue to divest, you lay bare yourself.  This ritual reflection causes exquisite recoil. If you find you can’t allow harpies tailing your bent hooks, ponder existence.  Then bellow against the unfaithful.  They moan.  We partake in carnal affairs; oddities, so ethereal than even the Dionysian subjects scowl.  That’s why the chalky white moonbeams from dear old fortnights call thrice.  Which home-lost wretch identifies his tale?  Therefore: linger not, for time may engulf ego; lavender happiness withers not idly.”

Matt says: “This is exactly how the Dao De Jing was written.”


Hello Friends,

I haven’t updated about Gary and Melinda because, frankly, I was worried about them.  They had such a busy first two days.  They worked so hard to make their little nest.  By the end of the second day it looked like this:

Ooooh look at all the progress

And then Day Three:

It is amazing what thumbless, armless birds can do in one day

But then day 4:

Day 4

But  then…

Day 5,6,7...

Uh oh.

Don’t get me wrong.  They didn’t fly the coop.  Melinda still sat on it all day long.  But now she just stares at me blankly.

Look at those beady, little soul-less eyes.


At first I thought that Gary and Melinda must be, er, special little morning doves.  They just didn’t really “get” that a nest was supposed to have, like, walls.  And a bottom.  Perhaps they came to live here because of our resident social worker.

My opinion changed, however, when I started seeing more of this:


"Uh, If you need me, I'll be at Fowl Shots"

Look at Melinda’s dejection.  Look at Gary’s defeated birdy shoulders and cold disregard for his bride’s feelings.  They can’t even look at each other anymore.

They  have this Angela’s Ashes situation going on.  Gary is gone a lot.  Melinda weeps. And you know why that is?  Why are they settling for sparse uncomfortable sticks, when their nest should be lined with the softest of goose down and dryer lint?

It’s the economy, folks.  The Economy.


I imagine a possible conversation goes something like this:

Gary: [Arrives to the nest, empty-beaked.]  Where’s dinner?

Melinda: How can I make dinner when I am so busy putting this nest together.  Not that we have very many sticks to make it with…

G: That’s so typical, Melinda.  You know I try! But the–

M: “Yeah, yeah, Gary.  I always have a finely arranged pile of twigs everytime you come back!  And all I hear about is how the Robin account isn’t bringing in enough twigs!”

G: “What?  You think twigs grow on trees?  Someone’s got to work for them!”

M: “And you never even notice me anymore!  You’re gone so much, we only communicate through Tweets!

Aaaaaand so on.

They presumably fight so often that they don’t have time to finish the nest.  It is a little sad, but then that is modern life.

However, for all of their fights they are quick to make up:




"Come on, let's never flight again"

Look at those lovebirds.  Cuddling.

Gary and Melinda teach us a valuable lesson: the thing about love is that sometimes you have to wing it.


Stay tuned for next time when Melinda gets a part-time job and Gary buys a new set of wrenches.

I got a few requests for some recipes for photos pasted on my facebook, so I’ll share.

Here is the entire meal, which serves about 4.  These are very easy recipes–hope you enjoy them!

fish fish.

Herbed Tilapia

4 tilapia filets

4 cloves garlic
2 TBSP fresh parsley (or basil)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBSP olive oil
salt, pepper, cayenne, etc

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place fish in oiled baking dish.  Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl.  Cover fish with mixture.  Bake for 20-25 min or until fish flakes easily with fork.  Serve with extra lemons if desired.

Roasted asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Wash and trim asparagus.  Lay out on lightly oiled baking sheet.  Cover with soy sauce and vinegar.  Turn to coat.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 min.

Tomato & Avocado Salad

1 ripe avocado
1 lg tomato
1-2 slices onion/
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
basil (fresh, if possible), salt, pepper, other spices to taste

Skin, de-stone, and chop avocado into slices.  Slice tomato.  Arrange on a plate with onion slices.  Mix oil, vinegar, and spices in small bowl.  Drizzle on vegetables.  Serve.

Garlic Bread

2 TBSP butter, softened
4 cloves garlic ‘
2 tsp Italian spices–oregano, parsley, rosemary, etc

Mix first 3 ingredients.  Spread on bread.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 min.

Meet Gary and Melinda

Hello Dear Readers,

I know it has been a while.  Turning in my globe-trotting pants for the stiff lederhosen of academics has not made for very many interesting stories in the last…say…two years.  And I apologize for that.

But, as spring is sort of pretending to come to Chicago, I finally have something worth blogging about.


Meet Gary and Melinda, our two newest roommates:

Gary and Melinda Doveczeck

It would seem these two little dears have taken up residence in the corner of our living room window.  These two birds are in love. Like, so totally in love.  So in love that they have decided to build a nest!

What usually happens is that Melinda sits in the corner, Gary flies away, and usually returns about three minutes later with a little twig in his beak, which he then drops on top of Melinda.  He flies off again, leaving her to arrange the new found stick in her growing cluster of sticks.

Gary drops a stick on Linda

And then flies away.

When Gary is gone, Melinda arranges, coos, and generally is pretty cute.  She also has to deal with a giant creature on the other side of the glass, constantly eye-prodding and taking photos.  But honestly, I don’t think she minds.  She likes the company.  This is what she does all day:

Sit sit sit. toooootally bored.

So this whole process went on for quite some time.  And this was the result of Day 1:

Nest, Day 1

Aw.  I don’t know what they could possibly do the rest of the day.  They don’t sleep here at night.  Where do they sleep now?  Who knows.

I am going to try to keep an ongoing record of their exploits on our window sill, which, judging by the last two days, involves a lot of sticks, cooing, and flying back and forth.

Stay tuned.


New Dream

I had a dream that I met my mom and sister for lunch at a Jewish heritage museum. I was topless and had tons of cream cheese in my hair (for remote viewing purposes). A Mexican waiter sat down next to us, started eating some extra food, and said (in Spanish) that the catfish was good, but he’d “only eat it on a picket line”
This was my FB status today, but then I remembered I post wacky dreams on here.  So yea.  There’s that.

Fire Alarms…

Last night I suddenly awoke to what I though was a rogue alarm clock; what I thought was my rouge alarm clock, screaming in my ear.  It seemed to be impossibly loud and I kept smacking it and hitting snooze, which didn’t seem to work.  I then fell out of bed trying to unplug it from the wall–also unsuccessful as that sucker has somehow melded to the outlet.

So the jolt from the floor made me realize that, perhaps, this sound was coming from outside.  A quick look in the hallway confirmed my suspicion, as a crowd of confused looking foreigners shuffled down the stairs, wearing nothing but pajamas and snow boots.  I joined them.

Once we all finally made it downstairs, we found all the Ihouse doorways to be clogged and most people were just kind of shouting and laughing at each other over the ear-splitting sirens.  I met up with some friends and, after stopping to go to the bathroom, we went to the front room to sit on the couches.  Hey–it was cold outside.

Emergency vehicles sprayed the streets with mutli-colored flashing lights, their violent warnings came through the windows and played out on the faces of those wondering what the hell was going on.  We just sat and tried to talk on the couch; some people were outside, but not many.  Everyone was in various stages of dress and undress–one guy in a towel, another with just pants on.  Tim was in gym shorts, a white t-shirt, and sockless dress shoes.  Danyelle had her laptop–“Hey!  This is the most expensive thing I own!”

Soon Connor came over and said that the stairs he came down in the East tower were “full of smoke”.  We didn’t believe it–if it were a fire, there would be more panic, right?.  “This is a real fire…there’s like an actual fire.”  Meh.  Sure, whatever, Connor.  “You guys are idiots,” he probably added.

And it was true.  I’ve never seen a lamer response to a fire; hundreds of people milling around, blocking the exists, standing in the middle of fire doors, keeping them open; staying inside.   Connor said he even saw two people running upstairs in a panic, though that might’ve been the guilty party (“I didn’t know what they did, but they sure did”).

Firefighters marched through carrying large metal canisters of something, they hurried, but were rather nonchalant about the whole thing.   Police, too.   After about 15 minutes, rumors circulated through the crowd.  The smoke was actually a fire extinguisher.  Or maybe dust.  But what was the fire extinguisher being used for?  Who knows.  Someone was messing with it.  The alarm stopped.  People cheered.

Everyone shuffled back to bed.  Probably, like me, couldn’t sleep the rest of the night.


Today I found out that doctors get to listen to music while they do surgery.

And the music they choose varies from doctor to doctor.  Some like classical, some like AC/DC.

What would you listen to while cutting into someone and trying to prevent them from dying?